SCA Web Profile
By Megan Hess By day, Jennifer Moravasik, 33, is a graphic designer for Seaboard Graphics in Liverpool, N.Y., but by night and weekend, she goes by Lady Desiderata Drake – “Desi Duck” for short – and is dedicated to being a pirate.
When Drake joined the Society for Creative Anachronism (SCA), an educational nonprofit organization that recreates pre-17th century European life, in March 2006, she assumed a pirate’s persona so she could time travel.
“I love dressing up in medieval garb,” Drake said. “As a pirate, I can wear whatever I want and claim I’ve just raided a ship.” And quite a list of ships she has to choose from. The Flagship of the Pennsic Pirates harbors over 30, including The Bloody Disgrace, The Lollipop Avenger, The Chaos Raider, and The Drunken Mariner.
You’d never guess it from the way Drake dresses on a daily basis−in black slacks, argyle sweaters, pink pumps, and hot pink hoop earrings. But at SCA events such as Pennsic War−the largest Society event with attendance exceeding 10,000 in recent years−she usually sports a corset, a white frilly blouse, pirate knee boots, a pirate hat, and full captain’s coat with gold buttons. Sometimes, if she’s feeling gutsy, she’ll show off her chivalrous style outside of the Society. Last Halloween, she wore her captain’s uniform at Onondaga Community College, from where she recently graduated with an associate’s degree in applied science and architectural technology. “People call me Garbie Girl,” Drake said, who is now working toward an associate degree in multimedia at ITT Technical Institute.
As a morale officer of the Bella Morte, one of the Flagship’s ships, Drake has witnessed several pirate weddings in which the fleet’s commodore serves as the priest or rabbi. Traditionally, the groom-to-be is bound in shackles. Sometimes, when the ceremony ends, his new wife will release him.
Drake also plays an active role in fundraising. In past years, her fleet has adopted sea turtles and contributed to nautical charities with the money raised from selling pirate paraphernalia on Web sites such as www.cafepress.com.
Having two seemingly polar opposite personas doesn’t faze Drake in the least. “I am a lesson in duality,” she said. “I'm a hopeless romantic who believes that chivalry and honor is not dead, yet I am a very strong and independent woman. I can socialize with blue collar or white collar, grab a bite of fast food or gourmet, listen to chamber music or rock ‘n roll, read a comic or Shakespeare, attend a monster truck rally or museum. I'm upfront and reserved, fun and boring, loud and quiet, emotional and detached, friendly and stand-offish, weird and normal, crazy and sane.”